Monday, January 22, 2007

Clinging to something...

even in dreams can be a sign that we are searching for a place or idea that will stabilize our life. For years, I have relived this dream where I float from bedroom to bedroom inside an old barn. The walls and floor are crafted of rough timber and the furniture varies. Some chambers have antique chairs with a canopy-covered bed while others have bare posters pointing upward to a vaulted ceiling. The details are sketchy but the need to find something lost is very intense. This propels me to look under the mattress, rug or curtains, whatever furnishing suggests a cover-up. During these sleep episodes, I never define what I am searching for. I think it depends on the time and stage of life this phenonmenon reoccurs.

With that in mind, I wrote this poem about a woman who also experiences a similar dream but comes from a large family of where psychic and superstitious influences prevail. She was the daughter born with the birth veil over her face, the caul of prophecy as legend and myth have called it. Her mother feared the possibility of second sight and discouraged her child from developing this innate talent. During childhood, she rejected all things related to prophecy and strived to be normal. Years later when her mother falls ill and develops dementia, things change. Unconsciously, she clings to the past and searches for something memorable that will help her cope and determine the state of tomorrow's circumstances. In her REM state, she hangs on to the vision of a discarded talisman, something that emphasizes a hidden strength, a unique ability to see beyond the shuttered window.


Naomi is born with the mysterious birth veil over her face. To some this was a sign of a prophet. To others it was merely part of the amniotic sac..
Flora Reigada

Barn floors dividing into bedrooms
where I wander
as a figment of sleep

happens whenever I lay
two pillows behind my head.

Something about the brain
when cushioned it can relax
and dispel an ache stashed deep
beneath the past or present.

Then I search each room
hunting for a veil
that must have been thrown

somewhere among
these pale mattresses
once hosting the birth of children.

And in my family
there were four daughters
and two sons.

I was the odd girl
able to see things
ahead of time
but never knowing why.

Mother called it
second sight but declared
it was a dangerous skill,

and ravens to her
were servants of witchcraft.

So one day when I saw
those birds rustling in vine leaves
along the barn’s stone wall

I called out
asking them to fly overhead,
their wings absolving
the dark magic.
Soon the visions stopped
and I felt normal.

Now when tea lights
And flowers turn
my house each night
in to a restful place,

I rise
and drift through air
looking for that membrane
of silk the midwife slid

off my face
and tossed among
the tangled sheets.

But why look
for a lost curse?
Dreams do not bare
themselves to logic.

I only know
Mother has fallen ill. Her memory
is failing and we have become

a blank row
of headstones glistening
against the Winter sky.

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